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Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Offense Wakes Up for Auburn

Ironically, Auburn and Missouri have only met 3 times. I was in my second year at Auburn when Auburn lost to Missouri in the Sun Bowl 34-17. Of course, we can all remember the 2013 SEC Championship game where Auburn won 59-42 and put on an offensive show that day in the Georgia Dome. 

I received reports from Auburn fans at the Missouri stadium that there was a lot of orange and blue in the stands and by the start of the second half, many of the Missouri fans had left for their tail gate spots. I was surprised at some of the predictions that I had heard from the talking heads during 
the week. No one that I heard felt that Auburn would cover the spread and some even called for an upset by Missouri. I sometimes wonder if these people are watching any football games at all on the weekends. 

Here are some highlights from the game:

1) Auburn now ranks 4th in total defense and 7th in scoring defense. This Auburn defense is legitimate and Kevin Steele has done a great job. The Auburn defense accounted for two key turnovers in the first half that did result in touchdowns. Also, I felt that the Auburn secondary did a great job containing the Missouri receivers. 

2) Auburn had 482 total yards. 219 passing yards and 263 rushing. 

3) Jarrett Stidham was 13 of 17 for 218 yards. He connected on long passes of 58 yards to Kyle Davis on the first play of the game, 46 yards to Will Hastings and 57 yards to Nate Craig-Myers. He now 
has now completed 70.6% of his passes for the season.

4) Kerryon Johnson returned from being injured in a big way. He scored 5 touchdowns which does tie the record for the most rushing touchdowns in FBS college football this season. It is obvious to me that Kerryon is the answer when Auburn is in the "red zone". Kerryon did finish the night with 18 carries for 58 yards. Kerryon is in good company. Joe Cribbs scored 5 rushing touchdowns against Vandy in 1978.

5)  Daniel Carlson was able to keep his leg fresh in this game by hitting on field goals of 41, 52 and 54 yards.

Auburn needed a game like this to prepare for the future. All of the back up players got some valuable game experience and Malik Willis was able to take some snaps. Auburn now faces Mississippi State and Ole Miss at home and then they will have 3 road games before they arrive at "amen corner". I will make no predictions, but I now feel much better about the rest of this season. Hopefully, this Auburn football team will now carry this momentum into the game with Mississippi State next Saturday. Perhaps it just took Auburn several games to work out the kinks in the offense. We will know the answer in the next few weeks. 

Enjoy the games and War Eagle!

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